Weird, Gay Evan

Yesterday I had juice for breakfast, this you know. I had packed my usual for lunch-nut butter sandwich, carrots and a larabar-but I felt like I just needed to go out to lunch. I decided to call my friend Vanessa.

We have known each other since I worked in the Study Abroad office a couple of years ago and we go to lunch every now and again to catch up. Today we decided on McAlister’s. Usually when I eat at McAlister’s I get a Nacho app, turkey melt and Sun Chips or Doritos. I was trying to eat healthier, obviously, so this time I chose a Veggie Club sandwich and some baked Lay’s. It was stacked like its namesake, but filled with avocado, red peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and two types of cheese.

I hate cucumbers. I don’t know why we tolerate these. They should all be turned into pickles instantly or thrown away. Needless to say, I did not finish the sandwich.

To switch gears abruptly – I named this blog Heavy Evan not only because I am personally heavy, but also because I wanted to speak about matters that are “heavy”. So here I go.

Social Media is an interesting beast. It allows instant gratification. I can say something witty and it might be “liked” or “re-tweeted”. But, what happens when it isn’t? It is a very fast road to depression. I thought a lot about the last scene from The Social Network when thinking about this topic. He had everything he could have ever wanted, but all he really wanted was the one girl who liked him to, well, like him.

Ever since I can remember I have been what Albus Dumbledore would call a “fierce friend”. I would do anything for you. I truly love and love hard. I still think about a friend of mine in high school named…well, let’s call her Opal. Maybe the reason she sticks in my mind is because she was the first popular person to “like” me. I truly LOVED her. Not in a romantic way, although I did harbor a crush occasionally, but in every other way you could. She was funny and had a great personality. She was always positive and encouraging. I have not spoken to her in eight years.

Now, the sheer fact that I am saying this is not charming to people, it’s creepy. Because I am a man, I am somehow not allowed to have emotions. I am not allowed to be passionate about the people in my life. This makes me weird or gay. This is utter crap. I can tell you of more nights than I can count that I cried myself to sleep because I gave everything I had to someone and they easily forgot me. There are faces that still waft through my mind, people that at one time meant everything to me. They were my forever friends that are no longer even acquaintances.

I wanted to protect myself in this regard, so I decided on a three strike rule. I would in-itiate contact three times and if it was not reciprocated, I would never initiate it again. This worked like gangbusters for a while. But, once I love someone I cannot forget them. So I have broken my rule numerous times. And I have gotten hurt numerous times.

This is what I mean about social media. The idea of a true friend has been diluted down to a picture we press a button next to. And you know what really hurts? When someone you love doesn’t even push your button. Snail mail is ancient, email is too much effort, messaging on Facebook is too much effort, 140 character tweets are too much effort. I am starting to think that the dream I had of having a friend that lived next door, that hung out on the porch while our children played together, and that grew old with me, will never come true. I guess friends are just made to be in your life at certain points and then go away.

I was thinking on these things while I was driving to pick Nikki up tonight. I drove past a dead deer that had been dumped by the side of the road. I thought about how that deer was enjoying life until something came along and ruined it. Something pierced his heart and instead of frolicking in a meadow he is now dumped by a state highway. Sad and alone and changed forever. Some part of me relates to that deer. How he would have been better off if that something never came into his life.

But, I still think about you all. I still love you all like I did all those years ago. I still pray that you are well and happy.

I still think it’s my fault.

And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
But it’s alright, it’s all right
We’ve lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we’re traveling on I wonder what went wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what went wrong.
Selected lyrics from American Tune by Paul Simon (that one always makes me cry)

P.S. While I always appreciate and love your comments, please don’t think that I am somehow sad or depressed. I just pledged to always be honest, and sometimes I think about these things and I was thinking about them when I wrote this. I am a very happy man with a very happy life who sometimes feels sad about losing friends. But those feelings go away when I see my wife smile and say “Hey honey”.

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12 responses

  1. I can completely relate with you as far as email goes. Most people that I try to initiate friendships with won’t call, email, or tweet me back. I feel like since I don’t have text or facebook, I’ve basically fallen off the earth. I used to be the same way when I thought an email was too much trouble and just put it off until I basically just forgot about it and deleted it months later. It wasn’t until I was burned in the same way that I decided to make a change. The problem is that everyone fools themselves by thinking they are too busy to reply but really what that means is that we can’t even begin to try to care or love about others more than we love ourselves and our time. We add stress to our lives by not immediately answering back to those calls, emails, and messages and it weighs us down to where we feel like we’re so busy and as soon as we answer those emails we start by saying, “I’m sorry, I’ve just been so busy lately.” No one is really that busy and if you are, and can’t spare five minutes to write an email, then something’s gone wrong.

    • Sorry I took so long to reply to your comment. I have been SO busy!

      That is why I think the three strike rule would work if I enforced it. But, once I find out I love someone it is really hard to let go. I guess, in the end, I would just rather keep making efforts than do nothing at all. “It’s better to have loved and lost” and all that jazz. I think that saying it about romantic relationships, but it can fit for friendly ones too.

  2. Way to get heavy, Evan. I like that you are including other issues and not just limiting your blog to weight loss. First of all, no one is too busy to reply to a message eventually. That’s bullshit. The thing that I’ve learned is that when you are an adult friendships are just a means to an end for many. It’s disappointing, but true. When someone interacts with you they are primarily interested in what they can get out of a relationship with you. Sadly, I’ve been guitly of this at times too. As Brandon said, it is part of our nature to be completely self-involved. This is why I usually make the extra effort to reply to people in a timely manner. What’s interesting about the whole social media aspect of it, is that I have tried to communicate with people who are on my friends list but often never get a response. As soon as I delete them as a friend, they send me a message asking why I deleted them. Yeah..

  3. Strike one for Evan and Vanessa! I was hungry yesterday!

    I planned to write more about losing friends, but I’m perfectly happy with those who I have kept in touch with. Unfortunately I’m not too concerned with those from whom I’ve grown apart. I think it’s natural as people mature and change, which of course doesn’t make it any less sad. But I think it’s a measure of being “grown up.”

    However, remember in How I Met Your Mother when Lily becomes the “other Lily” when her high school friend shows up? Yeah, that happens to me, which is enough to keep me away from Jackson!

    • I do apologize Blair.

      You’re right about it being part of being “grown up”. I agree. There are just some nights that I start being nostalgic and I get really sad and when I wrote this I was thinking on that. Thought I would share my feelings, maybe it would help someone. You never know.

      I definitely remember that episode and I think we should take a trip to Jackson together!

      • Oh no you didn’t! Actually, that’s not how I talk in Jackson, but it would be funny if it was! I was kidding about lunch, of course. And, I hope you continue to share your feelings – it actually made me remember that a friend of mine has a birthday today. We’ve fallen out of touch (mainly because she has three children and works 80 hrs/week), but I called just to say hi today – so thanks. Most of those other people, though, can be pleasantly forgotten… Oops, I’m being mean again.

  4. When I was a kid all I ever wanted was a friend; a true friend. You see when I was a child it was like being an only child; my sister was 16 years older than me an very distant and had her own life and did not want anything to do with me and my brother had his own life as well and I was just someone to pick on from time to time. Dad was distant and Mom was loving, but cold as well….but it was all because of things they were going through that I did not understand at the time. So I longed for a friend and always went the extra mile when I had one. Going the extra mile is a hard when you get there and you’re still alone. So I’ve come to realize that a true friend is as rare as a diamond in Mississippi mud. I can count on one finger the friends I have that are not kin or blood. I’m not an easy person to be a friend with any more because I don’t put up with a lot…..you see people like me because I’m funny and a character. But when it comes down to it I’m not a buddy you can hang with. Because I’m particular about my friends; I don’t want to hang with people that, drink, cus (an I talking about people that use it in casual conversation just because they can’t think of other more intelligent words to use) and guys that talk about nothing but sports and women. So that make me an odd duck that nobody wants to quack with. I think a lot lately about this; I would like to be a fried and have friends; people at work ask me about doing this or that with them; but for the afore mention reasons I distance myself from them…. It’s not that I think I’m better but because I don’t want to fall back into that trap where I drank, cused and talked about sports and women so’s I could be a regular guy. I’m not a regular guy, I’m me and if you don’t like that then I’m not worth your trouble. So I continue to look for that friend and after digging in the mud for years I have found a few; one is my wife, others are my son’s and then there is my family all that love me even though I quack up at times. I like Evan think about the friends I left behind or that left me behind at any rate it was a two way street. There are a few I wish I could reconnect with because when you get older you want to be around people you can remember the good ole days with. But alas we come into the world alone…..you thought I was going to quote that crap didn’t you? I came into this world with people that loved me and I expect I will go out the same way….all because I have been lucky enough to have a few good and true friends an a family that loves me in spite of myself.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I think I must have inherited those genes, because I didn’t have the same experience with my parents (they’re awesome, just saying) but I still feel that way about friends.

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